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May 16, 2023Liked by Jennifer Browdy, PhD

You have shown us so many gems of wisdom here, Jennifer, a verifiable Indira’s Net. Two things to add here: Last night I facilitated a Holistic Education Dialogue with teachers and students from the Southern Oregon University’s Master Program. SOU is where I taught for 23 years until my retirement in 2015. Our guest of honor at this dialogue was Dr. Phil Snow Gang, the founder of Holistic Eduction back in the 70’s. He’s had a fascinating journey all over the world creating a Global Alliance for Teachers and Educators . He was good friends with Thomas Berry, as shown in this video which echoes what you’ve been saying all along. I recommend this video: ”To Educate Eco-Sapiens” (link below). He was inspired by Thomas Berry initially and soon added David Bohm (On Dialogue) and Fritjof Capra's Systems View of Life. (I just graduated from “The Capra Course,” so I know why he gravitated toward Capra's ideas. Dr. Gang is the ultimate Renaissance Man, like Leonardo da Vinci, another Italian Visionary.

Dr. Gang is still teaching World Wide, and like Joanna Macy, he is entering his 9th decade of life with a mind that is still as sharp as ever and a depth of wisdom that goes way deep from childhood. He lives and breathes Gaia, both literally and figuratively. His morning routine is to walk in the forest near his home in Portland, Oregon and talk to his favorite tree. I love every word he says in this video:

https://www.ties-edu.org/2019/01/17/to-educate-eco-sapiens/

Second, while in Italy if you are anywhere near Tuscany, try to go visit the Pari Center for Learning. at: Via Federigo Tozzi, 7, 58045 Pari GR, Italy

This is a Learning Center established by F. David Peat when he first arrived in Italy, lost and looking for a place to stay overnight. By chance he found a room in Pari, a medieval town up on a hill. He and his family ended up settling there where he lived until he died. Long story, but for now just a hint that you are going to be walking on a land of inspirational educators, scientists, mystics and philosophers such as F. David Peat and David Bohm, whose book “Science, Order, and Creativity: A dramatic new look at the Creative Roots of Science and Life” co-written with David Bohm in 1987. This book had a great impact on my way of thinking and knowing. I’ve never been to Pari, but have been taking their online classes for the past three years. The Learning Center is now managed by Peat’s daughter Eleanor and his grandchildren. In fact, I just recently completed a series called “Incredible Minds” which dealt with Sentience. It was truly an incredible series!

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Thank you so much for all these intriguing connections, Viola, I will explore! And yes, I am going to be in Tuscany and Umbria, so I will keep an eye out for a potential visit to the Pari Center for Learning (https://paricenter.com). Looking at their website, it seems like a place I would love! Again, thank you Viola, you are a hub for such vibrant crosscurrents of dynamic, cutting-edge thought! So appreciated.

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May 16, 2023Liked by Jennifer Browdy, PhD

Jennifer, thank you for your kind words. I was just reviewing your book and found some intriguing connections on page 13 (Kindle book) to the questions that Dr. Gang asked us to reflect upon at the start of our dialogue last night: Who am I, What am I, Where am I? The responses from the group were as unique as each individual, but by the end of the hour we had all arrived at a WE mindset in the relational field. It was amazing to watch. Here's the quote from your book: "How you live, what you do, and who you are matters; the ripples from each of us individuals go out to affect others in ever-widening circles." Another coincidence in this page, is the word "ripples." That was the title of a magazine by Holistic educations at Southern Oregon University where I taught for 23 years. And your reference to "widening circles" Joanna Macy's book with that title is something that Dr. Gang speaks of frequently. It seems you are in tune with all these wise elders! So, just to affirm that listening to the stories of the "elders" in our society adds both the knowledge and wisdom needed to confront Chaos with a radically hopeful mindset. I love your book, by the way, it is full of both wisdom and knowledge and recommend it to all who are reading this.

Browdy PhD, Jennifer. Purposeful Memoir as a Quest for a Thriving Future: Inspiration for Writers and Seekers (p. 13). BookBaby. Kindle Edition.

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Yes, Joanna Macy especially has been an important teacher of mine. Also Meg Wheatley and Penny Gill. Thank you for recommending my book! It's published by Green Fire Press, actually....distributed as an ebook through Bookbaby. I love how the ripples of thought continue to connect us....this is good, it is NOT groupthink! It might be interesting to try to tease out the difference between influences and teachers who encourage creative thought, vs. influences and teachers who are dogmatic and require conformity.

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Excellent writing and thought. Thank you. I teach (and serve in administration) in the agricultural sciences and find the trend you write about frustrating, but I'm not giving up! The young people in my classes are so diverted from education due to work, marriage, and sometimes family responsibilities that its difficult to get them to take the time. Google, or group think, gets the job done. So its a challenge to me to both teach, design assignments, projects, learning activities that get them to truly think for themselves and know I am open to that risk--and they won't be penalized for it! Another bit that keeps students in that safe zone. I appreciate the reminder and inspiration to do this.

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Thanks for this comment, Paul, I so agree with you about the challenge of designing "learning activities that get students to truly think for themselves," as well as how hard it can be to get students who have been so programmed by the drill & test form of education to be trusting of a teacher who encourages risk-taking. I often use a research project called an "Inquiry Log" to encourage the kind of meandering, open-ended but documented exploration that I remember fondly from my own college & graduate school days, when the good old card catalogue was the start of all research treasure hunts....In this article, I sketch out how the Inquiry Log project works: https://digitalcommons.bard.edu/earlycollegefolio/vol1/iss2/5/

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May 16, 2023Liked by Jennifer Browdy, PhD

Completely agree. I will add: "the overconfidence of always having the answer..." might also have said, "... AN answer..." precisely because you and I might have different answers for the same question that are appropriate and, interestingly, true for us both. Another additional angle: the connection to hive mind is also letting memory to be stored in the Cloud (software of the Hive) and not my own wetware (software of my little piece of awareness). IOW since I can search it I don't have to remember it. In the fashion of 'history is written (and thus remembered) by the winners...' so today Google has won unless and until we 'remember' ourselves.

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It's a good thing that we all have our own answers; this lovely and essential human diversity of mind is being conquered by the monoculture of the Google brain, as well as by the multiple choice form of education, where subtle thinking is not allowed.

Re letting Google do our remembering for us, it's a double-edged sword, isn't it? I have never been a fan of education that relies on memorization of facts; but you are so right that we cannot allow our faculty of memory to atrophy.

Perhaps that is where we can most clearly see the importance of purposeful memoir that aligns the individual, collective & planetary stories, as shown in my latest book, Purposeful Memoir as a Quest for a Thriving Future.

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This is a wonderful piece of writing. So insightful and true. I feel the same way.

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Thank you! I can’t wait to start following your Substack, Marisa!

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May 16, 2023Liked by Jennifer Browdy, PhD

I'm very happy you've taken this risk and cheer that many have met you in your reveals. You are a brilliant visionary, teacher, and leader. Brava!

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Thank you Dory, and back at you with the love--I am so grateful to have you cheering me on, and will do the same for you, always!

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